Updated: Feb 21, 2014
The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® is hands-down one of the best credit cards around, but there’s a lot of curiosity and confusion around which is the more valuable of the two: the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases (with an $89 Annual Fee) vs. the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 1x on All Purchases (with No Annual Fee).
With the rare exception described below, the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases is a considerably better rewards credit card that enables you to earn more money back at a quicker rate.
Yes, even with the $89 annual fee.
It’s natural to gravitate toward the card with no annual fee, but with the significant difference in opportunities to earn points, the $89 annual-fee card pays for itself — fast. With this dual Barclaycard review, I’ll explain why by comparing the two cards in more detail.
The Differences Between the Two Cards
The first major difference between these two cards is what you get when you sign up. The second is the rate at which you earn rewards.
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases with no caps.
- Start by earning 20,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 20,000 bonus miles equates to $200 off your next trip.
- Earn 2X miles on travel and dining purchases with no caps and earn 1X miles on all other purchases.
An Important Distinction:
With the Earn 2x on All Purchases card, since you earn 2x points regardless of what type of purchase you make, you will always enjoy the peace of mind knowing you’re effectively maximizing your rewards potential. On the flip side, with the Earn 1x on All Purchases card, you’ll need to consider the fact that only travel & dining purchases will reap the most benefits.
A 4-Year Comparison: 2x on All Purchases vs. 1x on All Purchases
This comparison is based on the following assumptions:
- Year 1: $10,000 in travel & dining purchases were made in the first 90 days, then $5,000 in other miscellaneous purchases were made for the remainder of the year.
- Years 2, 3, and 4: $10,000 in travel & dining purchases and $10,000 in other miscellaneous purchases were made each year.
|1 Year||2 Years||3 Years||4 Years|
|1 Year||2 Years||3 Years||4 Years|
Clearly, despite the $89 annual fee, the Earn 2x on All Purchases card still garners you more rewards every single year.
The Earn 2x on All Purchases card is even more valuable if you spend little on travel & dining purchases since those are the only two categories that earn you double points with the Earn 1x on All Purchases card.
When you should get the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 1x on All Purchases card
The only instance when you should get the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 1x on All Purchases is if the total amount of purchases you make would earn you less than $89 in rewards. With the 2x card, the annual fee is waived the first year and the $200 sign-up bonus (which is $200 more than the 1x card) compensates for the $89 annual fee for two+ years, but you have to spend extra to get it. However, if you don’t spend enough over the long term, getting the 1x makes more sense.
As an example: If you spend $4,400 in one year on only travel & dining purchases with the 1x card, your rewards earnings would be $88 which doesn’t compensate for the $89 annual fee if you had the 2x card.
Don’t forget, you also get 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel
- In the above Year 2 example, if you spend $20,000 for the entire year, on top of the 40,000 points ($400 in rewards) with the 2x card you’ll also get 4,000-mile head start for your next trip.
- Just book your travel through any airline, hotel, discount travel engine.
- Redeem your miles for statement credits toward all or a part of your travel purchases within the last 90 days.
- To redeem, go into your statement online and select the travel purchases of your choice to redeem your points.
Big Benefits from Both Barclaycard Credit Cards
- 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness
- No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
- Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
- Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
- Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
- Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
- $200,000 Worldwide Automatic Travel Accident Insurance
- Reimbursement for expenses if your baggage is delayed or misdirected
- Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
- MasterCard(R) Global Service with 24-hour emergency assistance
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of cash back and free miles, sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases card.
The card was also named as The Simple Dollar’s best all-around rewards credit card in a series of posts that covered the best credit cards for rewards, cash back, airlines, and hotels.
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